GMA member Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro has sent us a real jewel.
The video below is from 1994, at the first ever Brazilian Championship.
Shaolin was 15 and Paulo Filho was 16 and they met in the blue belt open class semifinal.
Paulão then went on to become a MMA star in the early 2000’s and Shaolin became one of the biggest names in Jiu-Jitsu with also a successful career in MMA.
Shaolin remembers what the match up was like: “I remember that Paulão was already known as a really tough guy. Even as a blue belt, people used to say that he would train hard with all of Carlson Gracie’s black belts. Paulão had a lot of people shouting for him and I had only Dedé Pederneiras on my side. I remember Dedé saying that it was better for me to play guard to sweep him. What really impressed me was when he pulled my arm and my whole body came together. I was so light. I had 5 fights in my weight division and four in the open class.”